Bourdais, Rossi Lead the Way for Honda in Alabama IndyCar Series Practice

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (April 20, 2018) – Honda’s pair of 2018 early-season Indy car race winners – Sebastien Bourdais and Alexander Rossi – led the way for the manufacturer Friday at Barber Motorsports Park, in preparation for Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

Bourdais, winner of the Verizon IndyCar Series opening race last month in St. Petersburg, Florida, finished the day ranked fourth in his Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda. Rossi, winner last week in Round 3 on the streets of Long Beach, California, was fifth for Andretti Autosport and Honda.

In all, Honda drivers captured seven of the top 10 positions during Friday’s practice sessions. Scott Dixon ran sixth for Chip Ganassi Racing, followed by Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay, seventh. Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Takuma Sato, Marco Andretti and Graham Rahal rounded out the top 10.

Activities at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama continue tomorrow with final practice and qualifying. Sunday’s 90-lap race starts at 3 p.m. EDT, with live television coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Sebastien Bourdais (Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan Honda) fourth quickest in opening-day practice: “I am not quite sure what to think. We are not super happy with the [handling of the] car, but in the meantime, it is decently fast. We made some gains, so that’s the good thing. The SealMaster Honda is in the ballpark. It seems like all we are doing right now is preparing for qualifying because it is definitely going to rain on Sunday. We are going to have to think very hard on what we are going to do in those [wet] conditions. We just have to keep working, and see what we get tomorrow.”

Verizon IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama

Circuit:                             Barber Motorsports Park (1.8-mile road course) Birmingham, Ala.

2017 Winner:     Josef Newgarden (Team Penske) 108.809 mph average

Weather:           Sunny, mild, 68 degrees F


Top-10 Friday Practice Session Results:

Ps. Driver       Team Manufacturer Best Time Notes
1. Josef Newgarden Team Penske Chevrolet 1:07.4345 122.786 mph average
2. Spencer Pigot Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet 1:07.5372  
3. Will Power Team Penske Chevrolet 1:07.5987  
4. Sebastien Bourdais Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan       Honda 1:07.7971  
5. Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.8326  
6. Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 1:07.8445  
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay Andretti Autosport Honda 1:07.8829  
8. Takuma Sato Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:08.0628  
9. Marco Andretti Andretti Autosport Honda 1:08.1040  
10. Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda 1:08.1076  

Other Honda Results

12. Ed Jones Chip Ganassi Racing              Honda 1:08.3086  
14. Zachary Claman DeMelo-R Dale Coyne Racing                 Honda 1:08.3616  
16. Zach Veach-R Andretti Autosport Honda 1:08.4216  
18. Robert Wickens-R Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:08.5495  
19. James Hinchcliffe Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda 1:08.7317